Lettering · Showcase

Hand Lettered City Signs & A Lesson Learned

This is probably my single latest commission to date. I try to be punctual, I really do, but sometimes Life has different plans, blow-ups, and unexpected turns. I took this commission in about April of last year.

After a move that took three months– literally, three months to finally get into our new house after moving out of our old one, all because of a silly “little leak”– and living for another month in an incompletely renovated home, then trying to adjust to a new home/city/life, then surviving a personal financial crisis, and turning that crisis practically into my dream job, I finally managed to pull together time to get the job done.

It got completed earlier this month, and made its way to my client last week.

Despite the lateness, I am still very happy with the result, as is my client.

She commissioned lettered signs of some of her favorite, personally-relevant cities: Paris, London, and Cape Town. Each one will be placed under clocks in her home. Each clock will be tuned to the appropriate time for its city.

I loved the idea when I took the commission (still do!), but I probably wouldn’t have taken it if I had known how very, very, incredibly late I would be in my turnaround. And so, I’ve at least learned something from the experience: be aware of your abilities and limitations, and allow for some unexpected turns when you are considering doing commissioned work! Handy lesson, that.

And despite the lateness, I’m very happy with how they turned out, so here we go (finally! 😉

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And having learned that lesson, I had to make a call recently: I was booked for cookie orders three days in a row. I would be making and decorating cookies for a solid week. And an old friend got in touch with me to place an order to be shipped (which, after a recent experiment, I feel confident to do now– just fyi…) in the same period. Up until that point, I had never had to turn down a job before. I didn’t want to, even. But it was the single busiest week I had ever had for cookies, and I knew, if I was honest with myself, that my overall work would suffer (as would my ability to function as a human being) if I added another order into the mix– and a shipped order, at that. So I knew I needed to decline. So, I took a deep breath and hit reply.

I have to admit, despite being old friends, the intense people-pleasing part of me was terrified that I would have upset her or that I would get an angry response (despite the rational part of me knowing she was too kind a person to respond like that).

But she was very understanding, and is considering me for future orders, anyway.

That said, it was a hard thing to do, turning away good business. And sometimes when we learn a lesson, it’s hard to implement at first. But, like working out our bodies, we only get stronger at something by exercising it. We only get better by practicing. And one thing that is crucial to a business’ survival is knowing its limits. Lesson learned!

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As always, thanks for reading!

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